Update: The original article that reported translated quotes from Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata was intended as satire.
If you’ve played one of the new Wii U games and thought, “Wow, this is super easy and therefore not as much fun as older games,” you would be in agreement with Nintendo’s chief executive officer – or, at least, what one satirical website imagined him saying recently.
Games are indeed getting easier was the gist of a post on p4rgaming.com, which jokingly offered up "translated" quotes from Satoru Iwata during a Q&A session with company shareholders.
The rub: 90 per cent of participants in a test couldn’t finish the first level on the original Super Mario Bros. game on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
“We watched the replay videos of how the gamers performed and saw that many did not understand simple concepts like bottomless pits,” he was translated as saying. “Around 70 per cent died to [sic] the first Goomba. Another 50 per cent died twice. Many thought the coins were enemies and tried to avoid them. Also, most of them did not use the run button. There were many other depressing things we noted but I cannot remember them at the moment.”
The report went on to say that when Nintendo asked test participants what they could do to make the game better, many said they “wanted the game to be easier.” Some of them were said to have mistaken it for a new game, and said they wanted better graphics. Others purportedly still said Mario should start the game off with a sword or a gun.
The fake report comes at a time when many are truly wondering just why the Wii U is a thing, because no one seems to need it.
Last month, Iwata admitted that the company was to blame for the flop, after relaxing their marketing efforts and failing to produce an interesting original game for the console.
But p4rgaming.com tapped into an acknowledge shift in the gaming world: Some newer games are actually less challenging, perhaps turning people off of buying them. Who wants to play something that doesn’t challenge them in any way?
“All you have to do is make games harder and people will learn,” Gar Wan Toy, co-owner of the retro-game store A & C Games in Toronto, said. (He was unaware that the original report was satirical in nature.)
“I wouldn’t say [gamers are] less intelligent, I would just say they learn different skill sets.”
He pointed out that today’s games revolve much more around intricate stories and highly detailed graphics than jumping on Goombas and collecting coins. He said Super Mario Bros. was great for teaching gamers important reflex skills, but games today teach hand-eye co-ordination (first-person shooting games), muscle memory (World of Warcraft) and patience (Assassin’s Creed).
“I do want people to know what a bottomless pit is. I hope that people maybe pick up Super Mario Bros. That would make them better gamers,” Toy said.
“Anybody can do it, you just have to have practice and play it and enjoy it.”